Volleyball: Creekers fend off No. 16 Lafayette

Tates Creek's volleyball team played a great game of dodgeball in knocking off host Lafayette on Tuesday night.

After dropping a hard-fought first set, Tates Creek dodged bullets throughout the last two sets and celebrated a 2-1 victory over the 16th-ranked Generals.

"We've really been working hard to play as a team and to play with heart, and we did both tonight," Commodores Coach Megan Filburn said.

After Lafayette rallied to take the first set 25-19, it came from behind in the second and had two match points when it led 26-25 and 27-26.

But Robyn Hench rescued the Commodores, and they pulled out a 29-27 win.

The decisive third set was just as close.

Lafayette, led by Cat Starr and Jackie Britt, was on the verge of victory when it went ahead 23-20. But Tates Creek kept its poise and rallied to win 26-24, with Jessica Miller delivering a key kill.

"It's definitely nerve-wracking when you're down by three points and they're about to win," Miller said.

"But that's when you've got to trust your teammates the most. When you're down, you can't just give up. You've got to keep fighting, and you don't have anybody to look to but your teammates."

Allie Campbell, Tates Creek's co-captain with Miller, said Filburn knew just what to say during a timeout.

"She told us to calm down, regroup and come out and play our hardest on the next point," Campbell said. "We tried to focus on every individual point and play our best each time, and it worked."

Filburn credited her players for beating Lafayette, which swept the Commodores in straight sets last season.

"I'm so happy for them and proud of them, especially the way they fought back," she said.

Filburn said Tates Creek's serves were a crucial ingredient in the victory, with Kendall Beerman starring in that role.

Miller said she thinks the Commodores provided their coach and fans a glimpse of things to come. "We really are good, and we can really go somewhere," she said.

Lafayette Coach Chris Langston said Tates Creek "made the plays at the end, and we didn't.

"It was a great match to watch, and a lot of fun to be a part of."

Langston is optimistic about the future of his team, which has only two seniors.

"We're young, but our girls battle on every point, and they did that tonight," he said.

Tates Creek improved its record to 17-5. Lafayette is 12-4.